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Environmental Health Officer Jason Robson, Jamieson St milk bar owner Jason Albert and Health and Local Laws Coordinator Robert Page

Shops help block underage tobacco purchases

News Article Date: 
Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Over the past year, the Warrnambool City Council carried out routine tobacco test purchasing at 56 businesses, all of which declined to sell cigarettes to an underage person.

The program is funded by the Victorian Department of Health and involves a person aged 15 or 16 attempting to purchase cigarettes from tobacco retailers without proof of age.

“More than 90 per cent of Australians who currently smoke began as teenagers, so I’d like to congratulate all retailers for doing their part to limit the supply of cigarettes to underage people,” Warrnambool City Council Coordinator Environmental Health Robert Page said.

“The state-wide program is one of many anti-smoking initiatives that the State Government and Warrnambool City Council support to decrease smoking rates.

“The Warrnambool Health and Wellbeing Profile shows smoking rates for both men and women are higher than the state average.

“A key priority of the Warrnambool Health and Wellbeing Plan is to address the prevalence of smoking and tobacco-related illness.

“We encourage retailers to continue to train and educate staff regularly regarding their legal obligations.

“Council has had a long term commitment to the program and has been carrying out testing since 2009.”

Council is required to carry out test purchasing each year in accordance with the Tobacco Act. 

Businesses that refuse the sale of cigarettes to a minor receive a letter of congratulations while the penalty for retailers, or their staff, who sell cigarettes to people under the age of 18 years is a $621.84 on the spot fine or $9,327.60 for a company.

New tobacco reforms will introduce smoking bans in outdoor dining areas, regulate e-cigarettes and modify the regulation of shisha tobacco from August 1, 2017

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